Born in the Bronx, New York in September 1924, Lauren Bacall began her career in the public eye as a fashion model, appearing in Vogue Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar among others before eventually, in 1942, making her Broadway debut. In 1944 Bacall made her feature film debut as Marie Browning in “To Have and Have Not”, based on a novel by Hemingway, where she played opposite Humphrey Bogart. The two began a relationship on the set of this film and would marry in 1945. They would remain married until Bogart passed away in 1957 from cancer.
Lauren Bacall has one heck of a career, looking at the motion pictures she was a part of is remarkable. Starring alongside Marilyn Monroe in “How to Marry a Millionaire” in 1953, Bacall received great acclaim for her work on screen. It is this film in which I was first introduced to Bacall, and I fell for her character and her look, that look in which she would gaze upward at the camera. Appearing in major films such as “The Big Sleep”, “Key Largo”, “Written on the Wind” and “The Gift of Love”, Bacall’s career took a step down as the sixties emerged and she appeared in fewer films than she had the previous decade.
She appeared in big cast pictures such as “Sex and the Single Girl” in 1964 and “Murder on the Orient Express” in 1974, in which, among others, she starred alongside motion picture co-royalty like Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Paul Newman, Sean Connery and Ingrid Bergman. She would also go on to win two Tony Awards for her work on Broadway in the 1970’s and 80’s. In 1997 she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her amazing performance as Hannah in “The Mirror Has Two Faces” which was her first nomination.
In the later stages of her career Lauren Bacall would still receive high praise for her work in many films and such. Appearing alongside Nicole Kidman in “Dogville”, and again alongside Kidman in “Birth” in the mid-00’s, Bacall was introduced to new generations of film fans who would go on to discover her catalogue of work. In the late 00’s she would make the odd appearance in television shows and film, including voice work in animated vehicles such as “Family Guy” and “Ernest & Celestine”.
Lauren Bacall passed away in New York City on August 12th 2014 after suffering a stroke. She was 89 years old. She leaves behind three children and a massive amount of friends, fans and colleagues. Looking back on the work she has done it is easy to see why Lauren Bacall is considered Hollywood royalty from the Golden Age of cinema, and I will thoroughly enjoy discovering the films in which she stars that I am yet to see.